Sterling Standard from Sterling, Illinois on October 16, 1928 · Page 12
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Sterling Standard from Sterling, Illinois · Page 12

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Sterling, Illinois
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Tuesday, October 16, 1928
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Page 12
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it*&V&%*!~>-&&3&pft*?*,-i.. MI-7 CA7,|^ CHAPTF.R 1 But Jrrnr couldn't, hf-l^ve if. Again and «g»in she ffmts? brr hand into ihr £f!i f<->l f K poking jind digging in « «p»rr Ihnf <imM no! tone bnve ronrmlf'l *» plnhrnd. Her roommate. pownVrini* hrr nosr bcforr Hie goldm oak ffrcsprr, heard her pf^p ntul vhrr-lrd in alarm. "What'* th" mntfer?" "My money is jtjnnr!" "No!" Myrtle stirrd at the open bng in Jrrry's nerveless fmjtrcrs us though it were- poisonous. "Maybe il fell out. Let's look in thr closet." The Search wns a frantic onr. Every inch of the dark cubicle wns covrred. "I wnrnrd you not fa Icav i( here," Myrtle said when si lust they gave up. She. was exasperated because she feflew what the loss of the money %vould mean to Jerry Ray. When a girl refused to treat herself fo a soda for weeks and weeks . . . "Why didn't you give i! fo Mrs. Addison?" ; She knew the answer to Hint too. If Ihcir landlady knew that one of them could save money they certainly would get that threatened raise in their room rent. "I thought it would he nil right for one night," Jerry sobbed. The theft was fast becoming a reality to her. For nearly a year she had saved that money, dime by dime, quarter by quarter and dollar by dollar. It had been almost impossible to believe, when she opened the hag and found it gone, that it had been stolen, that it really was gone. Why, she had starved for it—for the chance it was to bring her. It seemed sort of funny that only a few minutes ago she had run up the stairs ahead of Myrtle, who wasn't going to Atlantic City, tripping over the hole in the carpet before their door, as usual, hut with an unusual song in her heart. As quick as that even-thing could change. The song was a dirge now. Myrtle tried in vain to comfort her until George came. Then she had to go. George couldn't be kept waiting. Jerry lay on the bed, white and tense, her disappointment eating deeper into her consciousness as her thoughts traveled backward. Another year at the lace counter before she could have a vacation again. Another year of automats and self- sen-ice restaurants, of movieless Saturday nights and not even a late magazine to read. Myrtle had argued heatedly over what she called Jerry's crazy idea. But Myrtle didn't know. Myrtle didn't want things the way Jerry wanted them. Myrtle Crane was content to look forward to a future with George in a three-room flat. Myrtle believed in love. Jerry didn't. "I've seen enough of it", she said when Myrtle wan tec? to _... knp_w_*_ t h_p\v_she_fipt_ thai Avar." "J know what it did to tny mother. It's just a snare." Her mother in the hoi kitchen at Marblehcad. . . . There was no gas in their uegil>}>orhood and the grocer on the next street was glad lo give them boxes and crates—her father wouldn't buy oil when he could get summer fuel for nothing. And her mother's room under the'sloping roof— hot in summer, cold in winter. And her father and her brother Harry. Both of them hated work. Harry had married a cute little kid he met at a dance. Jerry had listened in silent anger to Doris* ravings about Harry. Hurry had promised Doris love and romance. Jerry twisted her lips in contempt as she dwelt on that year Harry and Doris had spout at home after their mar- —Tiage."--She-conld-not-forger-Doris* disillusionment when she discovered that Harry was iriore interested in what he liad to eat titan in how she looked or what she thought of him. But such a thing could never happen to her. Her mother's experience was enough. She had never heard her say one word against marrying for love, but Jerry had guessed at her bitter awakening. Once her mother had confided to Jerry that she was the only beautiful thing in her life and in Jerry's heart had been born then and there a tierce resolve to compel beauty for her mother, to bring some luxury into her life. She wanted, with a longing that had grown with her through the years, to rest her mother's iumds, to see the cal- -tetwes disappear and the 'broken nails mend. She wanted skillful fingers to rub out the furrows on her mother's brow, but above all she wanted to see those drooping shoulders lift wild a light shine in the duH blue eyes. a matter of pmpjnqusfy—ymi could choose war fieUl Jerry know she anprnrrd soiille** fo Mrrfte, hnt fftCij UfWil^ —»« a fool. *h« thought. She wondered why, peapie"wfIT i>im<l when «n nlMM.it them wrr? the wrecks ««f " She was not ashamed of ]hrr drdsion fo marry uionrv She wasn't going to "sell" herself or anything like that.'" Tl>.man rmist be someone she could respect ami like. She snw no rrason why marriage should be approached in n cov, oh-H-just-happrned manner. • Myrtle had scoffed when she explained this, "Well, I'd rather marry George than n man 1 didn't love even if hVhn<! o million," she said, Jerry had flared hack at her. "It'?! George because propinquity didn't make it Homebody else . . . ." ""A Vandcrbilt or an Aslor, huh?" Myrtle broke in "Don'I he so funny. Jerry. I got enough lauglis out of you alrea.lv. ion «,on I owe mr any more. Even- time I think erf vo'u and your shadow stmliing down the Boardwalk tryitic tn pick up a billionaire I choke " thought It would be exciting to shop there. She wondered what good ffw clothes would do her now. She was still lying era fhe feed, fully dressed, when Mrytie returned. Myrtle was excited over something. Jerry supposed, without giving it. mueh thought, that" George TOC! been making Itrre lo her, "How about a Jifffe j^ cream ?" Myrtle asked, intending fo treat. Jerry didn't want ice cream, "Well, sat', listen., Jerry, I've hrrn f(linking — you'll go camping with me now, won't you?" Jerry didn't answer. "Gee, you*!! like it," Myrtle went on. "I wns out there last summer, you know. I've got the tent and everything. JJelta BOM me her half of it when she got married.' We used to camp together. George stored it in a garage for Tttf* * "»** **»» •" t—.— JL.*. aT_l*V_*d . . . _ —. .. -L *~* Mb you over to look if ' «f morrow and see about •{frmsKbled wlnle they Fifteen mm^m •$$». derbred **M» camping at the did InMue. " "* ' ••Why, well be burled' bare wiffcwt * car " nhe aghast at the idea of MUtaMie. * ---»»-«- BtMi,owIfwa»jrerTyw!»OT^ tevm entn«»l with the place, A ramshackle old with a wide porch on one end, a grove of ntapte tud a few lowering oak, looked like a cool green paradise to her. She begged witb good effect Myrtle agreed to §t»y, to deliver the tent and equipment. Mrv to put it go it wouldn't be eon- . -T — „ idea,"Jerry had nnswcred sercnr- w Ik m n ° ! g °' ng f ° Atlantic City !o I )arm} c the Bwsrd- "You don't expect fo meet a Social Reqislrr fluy in a src- ond-class hotel do you?" ' \M r I"» no1 g °! ng to " SCCOI » d -ctoss hold. Listen, Mvrllr. \viuii c?o you think I've hccn saving my money for? ill toll you.- Im going to have « wrok in thc'hest hotel in Atlantic fo squeeze us in somewhere.** A flicker of interest passed over Jerry's face. Myrtle did not .we it but she was sufficiently engrossed with her plans to go on without encouragement. "There's always a swell crowd," she enthused; "and it isn t far from the beach. Come on, say yes. You'll be fjlad your roll was lifted when you meet some of the boys that camp there. Honestly, Jerry, you'd have had a dumb time all alone ia Atlantic Oilv." city. The right clothes, the right place, and I know I'll find the right man". • * * * • And for this she liad come to New York. She had told them frankly at home that she was coming to marry money. They lauglu d ut her, ail hul her mother. She warned Jerry gravely against making a mistake. But New York luid disappointed Jerry. Rich men did not come seeking bridt-s at Fane's department store. She met a few boys, friends of George, hut they were like the boys she bad known at Mai bit h, ;ui, satisfied' to have just a "job" —nothing else. That, would not do 1W Jerry. II you believed in love it was different -you must marry blindly. But if you were not a sentimental ixoob you could make your marriage a career. Jerry had read" somewhere that marriage was a waiter of propinquity, Bdnn what she called intelligently interested in marriage t»he looked up propinquity in a dic- tiouary and learned ihat it meant nearness in place or time w If that was all there was to it why not benefit by it? Going around with boy* who had nothing- but love to offer, you would marry fur. love. For love! Jerry believed that amt people knew no more aiiout it than a ueu knows why she lay* an egg. It was a utee word, but you might «g well !«r tlmrdttst or ruses, t*r ut-ctar, or anyttiifitt tfce tibart well ° . e you proiuu*s-if lie didn't talk about ^ .Itttfides wind Jerry <U-dtfcd la give hetsetf ta*i ctMMt, Ubis was shortly after she came to New ¥ork. Ilie b*at w»y f she concluded, since th* mouiiUuti dj*iu*i et, »**» t« g« u, the luounltda. A ftal tnoutt- ma* tfat ao\uuUt^» ctf kuuwlog iMt marriage Now, thinking over all the sacrifices she had made, the money she hud wanted to send her mother and hadn't because it was to free them both from the ugly conjines of poverty, Jerry felt weak and defeated. The room was stifling hot, filled with the heat of the city's masonry that even the night could not entirely release. Jerry had let her mind train itself to picture the things she wanted for her mother and herself. Smooth beaches, roof gardens, the deck of a white and mahogany yacht—she liad read of them,_seen photographs of them, seen fleeting- glimpses of them in the news reels. If such places and things existed why should she not aspire ta them? Certainly the people who had them hud not been content to want less, she reasoned. Her room,-by contrast with the things she liad dreamed of, seemed doubly hot. And how she hated it—the jaundiced wall paper and thread-bare rug, the curtains that hung with a listlcssness like her mother's movements. Tired. That was it—the room was tired, perhaps tired of the stream of colorless tenants who came and wt at, their drab-patterned lives making no imprint. Tired, as her mother was tired of the years that came without event, unheralded, unsung. Flat, tedious years. Years like :i gray soil (hut ha<| put forth one blossom to justify its fxistt-uce and then had gone on molding, dying. Saving lo lift her mother, by Hie only way she knew, into a more gracious world than this, had not been an unadulterated hardship. It had been Uirillimji to vvulcb tier savings account grow. Yesterday, wlien she had withdrawn it from the batik because she would have no time oil Saturday to attend to it, she had felt like dancing out with it. \\itai were .sodas and shows then? The risk of leaving it in lier room overnight had seemed uusvoitkbie. Sue was leaving on Sunday ujonuny. She had mried* little-over it . . . there fead been a sneak tbM m the home two years before, she had heard, but she was !<M> dated-over the vrmptcl of what lay before l^r to'tbink" much of trouble . Her. J*ew. wit, «M» -w*s fwdked with lowly ititugs. N<st a- • • faded or meaded garment in it, Mich «s filfed her share of the fimited drawer space in the tnuttiaJly used dresser.' t, che b«d thai ruudt lo show for her thrift Some pretty .1. . ^ J 1 * 1 ? ¥** •** *•**'* bought lh« evoMPj tot** *- that she had pteued to get in AUaofte ' City. ' &lBfafatt~.«£ u. j-.-ja.iA»j-. Jerry did not feel like taking issue with her about that It was all right to argue when she had a, choice. But now if she refused to camp with Myrtle she would have to spend tie. The Atlanti she was asleep „ Thy drove out to Glen Cove in George's battered little a*» built mostly from junked automobiles. Jerry rt-mark- e4 the number of fine motors that purred swif tiy-past-them-- on the highway. "Yeah, the North Shore of Long Island is lousy with millionaires," George informed her. Myrtle gave Jerry, a sly glance, "Not a bad hunting ground, kid," she said. "If you can get in." "How did you happen to find, a camp out there?" Jerry inquired, ignoring her suggestion. "Why, this man Barnes has some land in the not-so-high- hat neighborhood that he's holding for speculation," Myrtle explained. "lie rents the camp sites to pay his taxes. On a hot summer like this his place is always crowded I hone we aren't too late;" But they were. The camp sites were all taken. "Now wliat'il we do?" Myrtle waited when Mr. Barnes gave her the bad news. He didn't know, but she asked him' so many times, m such genuine distress, that he was driven td thiuk it out for her. *TH tell you what I can do for you/* he said at last, speaking a bit reluctantly. "I've got a house down near the shore that's empty, been empty for yew*. Being's I know you 1 can let you camp there. You'll have to boil the water and! you 11 have to keep quiet. 1 don't 'want a^iy trouble with Mr. Canstairs." "Who's he, Mr. Barnes?'* ""Carstairs? Humph. He owns the place next door, and, a*t you go trespassing or get a g£ng i^anfiiag aroumi b«~ shore property some day. rm doing tbia us a favor to you, y«u«g lady, and doa't you forget it tte-GwivfavM ctigfe- Mariiood is no f tH* jat pegt, .,-;.--J turned up her mat. »« M ^», Wi ^wp^nr^w, wdi.it delay our first hundred to hang up our hats in thai tiacred spot?" . **Twej*iy-iive» the same as hert. The water's free.** is it. j * _ » --- - — -—•"-jf f *»a-fc.*«^ VTp«tn_,gj( <V¥df^ on the edge of the maple grove, where the morning sun would wake them. Jerry had almost forgotten her disappointment of ths previous ctay._ While George was away for the tent she and Myrtle had hitch-hiked to the nearest village and bought a picnic lunch. When he got back they had spread out in the shade, all except what hunger had compelled them to gobble up. Myrtle thought they ought to apologize for having eat en, but she stopped when Jerry gave her a look. It wA* nearly two o'clock. They had breakfasted at seven. Why should they gel a headache? she asked when Myrtle had said they ought to wait for George. "Well, it would be more hospitable," Myrtle argued. "George will be starved when he gets here." "Will he?" Jerry replied with the twisted smile she used when speaking of men. "Starved?" she asked when George arrived. Myrtle started then to explain that they'd been so famished they'd just had to cat. Jerry's glance silenced her. "No, I had some hot dogs down the road," George told them and Jerry laughed. Myrtle flushed. "Here, I brought some along for you kids," George went on, and brought out a paper plate covered with a paper napkin. Myrtle laughed then. They ate the hot dogs with relish and put the •pread- out lunch away. Then they busied themselves with th» tent. "Put it right out here," Myrtle ordered; "it's swanlwj enough for anyone." It was a forest green umbrella tent with' a canvas floor* and George made short work of getting it pegged. Whefi that was done Jerry offered to put away the camp thingal while Myrtle and George drove to the village for some iodine to put on a cut Myrtle got on her hqnd. Cots, a table and chairs, a small gasoline-burning sUra» and a few dishes and cooking utensils had been stored (I with the tent. The girls had brought blankets from thd* W room and a suit case with the things they would need overnight. The next evening George would take them to town to-.tf^LJ] 16 Test °f t ^ e * r out ^^» w M cn ***y **?d M* waatodL lo bring until "'(bey were sure of a camp site. Jerry had scarcely got the camp in order when slie hear3 George had kissed her goodby. What was a kiss? JNo^boy fleeting moment she envied Myrtle—it must be fun. to have a boy friend with a car. even a junky, old rattletrap. No, why not a real car? Men were ail alike, only some were worse than others, not better. They should be chosen for what they had—there was a difference in the way they fooled girls about love. She couldn't see any reason for Myrtle's beaming after- George had kissed her goodby. hat was a kiss? No bov had ever kissed her though several had tried. "Stop looking down the road like a mooney and show me how this stove works," she said irritably. Myrtle was such a confirmed nut about love. It made her sick. "Wait a/ewjyearSj'ABhe thoughtJ_'flnd. if J auk her what she thinks of marriage she'll tell me it's all right but a girl oughtn't to rush into it" "Let the stove alone," Myrtle said good-naturedly; "and " Oh °. ur b ' hto « Of the Jerry certainly did. Out of tlie whole tiling. Hie bathing and the prospect of a night cool enough for comfort She was almost happy when they sat down, hungry, and tired, to finish what was ieftof their mid-day lunch. The stove hada t worked -very well an* Myrtle said they would have George fix it. » 4 * f * " Jerry looked up at the sound of a motor in ffee «& £ silver plane was winging overhead in what looked to tea- like the attempt of a huge butterfly to find a flower to hind on. *Too- bad George doesn't fly", she said huuly; "you need him so much.** "You'd get to depend on your boy friend, too, if you had one," Myrtle retorted instantly. "Well, I'd like to know what that guy up-there is depending upon," Jerry answered, her voice more serious than her words. "Look at him; he's pointing right at us! Run!" She jumped to her feet and sprang backward, still yelling at Myrtle to get out of the way. She heard a shrill screech in answer, or rather bob note of it, for the rest wns drowned out by the uproar the plane made on its dive into their camp. Jerry lost her balance and fell. She got a nasty crack on the side of her head and what followed immediately after the ctmsh was k»fio her. The first tiling she beeping Gm* scions of was .the sensation of being cradled in a very satis*" J^»*3j t*»ting place. Her head was held just right iis a pkea .* Bui that seme of security and ease was soau kit A i jfeot like Sm across her brain an4 she erteiNgt •-'**~ flashed open as the agony cleared ' - - - with « sensation she wag never 10 masculine face beat over her .«T._dT£JLJ-\. 'A "

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